There are many types of nonfiction you can write. In this series of “types of nonfiction,” I’ll not only identify and define different types and styles of nonfiction, I’ll help you find resources right here in Long Beach.
Dictionaries and encyclopedias defined
Writing for a glossary, dictionary or encyclopedia is different than other forms of writing in that it is stylized, short and has to be very, very clear. Dictionaries and glossaries define words, and encyclopedias provide summarized information about different topics.
Examples of dictionaries and encyclopedias
The most well-known dictionaries and encyclopedias, such as Webster’s or Britannica, are about general knowledge. However, there are plenty of niche dictionaries and encyclopedias available. Maybe you could author one for your niche?
- LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary by Simon Beecroft and Jeremy Beckett
- The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm: A Lexicon for Those of Us Who Are Better and Smarter Than the Rest of You by James Napoli
- Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark
- The Ultimate Sports Trivia Encyclopedia by Andrew J. Maikovich
- The Skeptic’s Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions by Roberta Carroll and Robert T. Carroll
Resources for writing dictionaries and encyclopedias
- How to Write a Dictionary Definition
- The Con’s English: How to write a dictionary in prison.
- How to Write an Encyclopedia
Dictionaries and encyclopedias of Long Beach
According the UrbanDictionary.com, there are several pop culture/urban culture terms that have a Long Beach origin. Here are a few examples:
- Pop tart – a slatternly pop singer, coined by Mark Hanser in the Long Beach Union Daily in 1983
- Dyke clip – a bicycle clip turned key chain that lesbians hang from their belt loop to indicate that they are gay, the term originated in Long Beach
- Nairobi Freeway – a racist reference to the Long Beach freeway, used by local cops because of the “African” perps who drive it from South Central
- Midgetville – an urban legend about a gated community somewhere in Long Beach that is home to midgets who are violent toward the non-vertically challenged
- Stud muffin – originally a guy with a muffin-top over his pants, coined in Long Beach in 1985, once the term went viral the meaning morphed from a put down to a praise.
- Lexicunt – girls who used big words, often with malapropisms, to look smarter than they were, coined in 1994 by a group of English Lit majors at Long Beach State University
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NOTE: Are you a writer based in Long Beach? Please contact me … I’m going to start doing a series of profiles of local writers and I need to know who you are!